Update: Two districts approving new school buildings; other likely rejected

Franklin Junior High School

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Franklin Junior High School

Voters in the Franklin school district appear to have approved tax funding to build new schools, according to unofficial results from the Warren County Board of Elections.

Meanwhile Fairborn’s request for school construction funding was ahead as of 10 p.m., but with many votes still to count, and Xenia’s school bond issue was trailing at that point. We will continue to update these results as more ballots are counted from tonight through Nov. 18.

Each school district asked voters to approve a 37-year property tax to pay for part of school construction, so they could leverage a multimillion-dollar “state share” from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission in the future.

Franklin schools

The Warren County Board of Elections said all Franklin precincts had reported at 10 p.m., and the schools' bond request was ahead by a 55-45 ratio. Some late arriving mail ballots will still be counted, but the bond is ahead by almost 2,000 votes out of 9,500 total, making a change in result highly unlikely.

Franklin hopes to use the local bond funds to build a new high school by fall 2023 and renovate the existing high school into a middle school. A few years later, it would use the state funds to replace its five elementary schools and one early childhood center with three new elementaries.

The Warren County auditor certified Franklin’s ballot issue at 6.52 mills, which would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $228 a year. But Franklin Schools Superintendent Mike Sander said the district has vowed to collect no more than 4.95 mills, which would cost $174 annually on that $100,000 home.

Xenia schools

With 57% of all possible registered voters' ballots counted at 10 p.m., voters were rejecting Xenia schools' bond request, by a 52.5 to 47.5 ratio.

Xenia’s 2.6-mill bond issue would generate $36 million for construction of a replacement for Warner Middle School, costing residents an estimated $91 per year for a $100,000 home. Superintendent Gabe Lofton said the estimated $16 million state share later would either be used to pay off that debt, or pay for renovation of Xenia High School.

In 2009, Xenia voters approved a bond issue that paid for five new elementary schools. But in 2016-17, when the district asked voters for another bond to build a new middle school-high school complex, they were rejected three times.

Lofton said the new request is only to replace the 58-year-old middle school (on land between Warner and Arrowood Elementary) because a two-year community input process identified that as the district’s biggest need.

Fairborn schools

With only 41% of all possible registered voters' ballots counted at 10 p.m., voters were solidly approving Fairborn schools' bond request, by a 55-45 ratio.

Fairborn’s 5.83-mill combo bond/levy is estimated to cost the owner of a $100,000 home $204 per year, with the proceeds funding construction of a $65 million to $70 million high school, performing arts center and athletic complex. Fairborn officials say they would eventually use the estimated $33 million in state money to build a new middle school.

In 2016, Fairborn voters approved a separate bond issue to build a new primary school, which opened this year, and an intermediate school, which is starting construction.

Fairborn schools' goal would be to build the new high school (along the east side of I-675), then close the 68-year-old Baker Middle School and move those students to the 1970-era high school until the new middle school could be built near the new high school.

Renewal levies

According to partial, early results, voters were approving all six renewal levies that schools put on the ballot Tuesday. Those levies were in Northmont, West Carrollton, Milton-Union, New Lebanon, Greeneview and the Miami Valley Career Tech Center.

Renewal levies do not increase residents' tax rates, but do extend existing taxes for a longer period of time.

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